People are just amazing.

“Closeness to customers” is something I have been studying lately. I wrote about the effect it has on your company here. I also believe it is huge part of what we help our clients do. We help our clients create deeper more meaningful, emotional connections to the clients they serve.

So in an effort to practice what we preach, I’m in the process of spending time “interviewing” our clients and some of our client’s customers.

And here is what I have to share with you:

Do it. NOW.

If you’re part of company or organization and you have customers or advocates, interview them. Don’t just talk to them, ask them for their help, their opinions and their ideas.

I like to think I’m close to our customers, but I have never just sat in a quiet room with a short list of questions and just listened intently to their answers for 30 minutes or so.

Oh, I’m accessible. I go to meetings. And I like to think I listen. But never have I taken on this kind of task and taken it so seriously.

Don’t rely on anything other than the phone, or face to face time. Record it if you can and go back and re-listen again. That makes it even better. Trust me on this one! That part will rock your world.

Those of you that hang out around here know I say this phrase often, “We are all in grad school.”

Last week at Blogwell in Atlanta, Bret DuMars (@BWdumars) from Newell Rubbermaid expressed it a bit differently, “There are no experts in social media. There are only explorers.”

So every Tuesday for four weeks in row, I’m dedicating an entire day to exploring. Now some of you may say, “Robbin, that is such a luxury, who has time for that!!?”

I’m here to tell you, you don’t have any excuses people! It is one day a week for a month and you might decide to make this practice a year long one. If you are part of moving something forward, do yourself a favor. Crave out some time, then craft your questions carefully with an intent to learn. It will change your freaking life and your view of what you do. I promise.

“Everything worth doing starts with listening, now doesn’t it?” — Words of wisdom from a Brains on Fire kindred spirit…


P.S. The photo above sits on my desk. It’s a picture of my daughter (on the right) and her best friend (shouldn’t your customers be your best friends?) some time ago. It reminds me everyday that showing how I really truly feel about the people who make my life better is something I should never, ever forget. Thought I would share with you…Happy Friday.

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